Syndication of a $400 million deal to back ABRY Partners' $500 million acquisition of F+W Publications from Providence Equity Partners launched last week. JPMorgan and Credit Suisse First Boston are leading the facility, which consists of a $50 million revolver, a $250 million first lien and a $100 million second lien. Pricing on the revolver and first lien is LIBOR plus 3% and pricing on the second lien is LIBOR plus 7%. The acquisition is slated to close the first week of August.
Peggy Koenig, a partner at ABRY, cited the company's reccurring predictable revenue stream, highly attractive margins and good organic growth opportunities as reasons why the investment firm decided to acquire F+W. "It has all the investment characteristics we look for in media companies," she said and later added, "It fits perfectly with our investment thesis." Although the group has no immediate acquisitions in mind for F+W, it is definitely part of the investment plan, Koenig said. Looking ahead she said ABRY wants to continue to grow the top line.
JPM and CSFB led the staple financing for the transaction, Koenig explained. "We went with the team that had already completed due diligence and could complete the staple. We also happen to have a good working relationship with both firms as well," she said.
F+W has over 200 media properties with 1.9 million subscribers. Titles in the hobby sector include: Writing, Outdoor, Log Homes and Guns & Knives and Sports. ABRY partnered with David Steward, the new ceo, who is the former president of publishing at Martha Stewart Omnimedia (LMW 6/24).